May 4, 2018
Photo by Amy Raff

Wreck of The Whydah
A Poem by Jack Wesdorp

Sideways in the undertow, 
capsized on a low tide bar, 
lost her rudder in the blow, 
one ragged sheet on a spar. 
She spills her guts as she rolls, 
Cannon rum cask looted hoard, 
of some hundred forty souls 
maybe two make it to shore. 
Indigo and ivory 
silver, five tons below decks, 
jewellery for winsome wives, 
some salvaged from other wrecks. 
Much pirate cargo carries 
a curious coffin freight 
its baggage often tarries 
in a weightless future state. 
Sam cut a dashing figure, 
velvet ribbon tied-back hair, 
four pistols at the trigger, 
well-disposed and debonair. 
Admiral of the first fleet, 
brothers bent in their belief, 
tall in the annals of deeds, 
their tenure was all too brief. 
And what price for such plunder? 
Whydah shipped twenty-eight guns, 
a superstitious number, 
the sea enraptures her sons. 
When the vulture men descend, 
most of the hulk has been stripped, 
none of us can comprehend 
how it was aboard that ship. 
There’s eerie yoruba drums 
that still haunt the outer reach, 
the cheers of jubilant scum 
along a terminal beach. 
Centuries have taken flight, 
the scent has long since gone cold, 
but these days they dive the site 
and sometimes they’re finding gold. 

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